Inside: Our pick of 21 of the best Christmas party games for kids…and their families!
As a kid, parties are simply the best – especially Christmas parties with family and friends. After all, what’s not to love about spending time laughing and playing with your people.
As a parent, parties can be a bit daunting. Which is why I like to keep things simple – classic party food, your fave Christmas tunes and some simple-to-prepare, super fun to play Christmas party games. And for the latter, we’ve got your covered with this super list of 21 Christmas Party Games for kids (and their families!)
This list includes a Christmas take on some really classic kids party games, alongside a collection of active games that can be played indoors or out (great for helping kids get the jiggles out before settling down for a meal or movie), and some Christmas games for the whole family – these are ones that even the adults (and teens!) in your life will have fun playing.
Christmas Party Games for Kids & Families
Classic Party Games
1. Musical Chairs
Crank up your pick of the best holiday tunes for a Christmas twist on this classic party game!
Set up one less chair than the number of children playing in a circle or line. Start the music and everyone walks around the chairs until they hear the music stop. When it stops, everyone rushes to sit on a chair as quickly as possible. The last person standing is out, and then another chair is removed before the next round begins. The music starts again until there is only one final person standing.
Simply things even further by removing the chairs and playing musical bobs (bob down when the music stops, slowest person to hit the ground is out) or musical statues (freeze in position when the music stops, anyone still moving is out).
2. Pin the Nose on the Snowman
Draw a simple snowman shape onto a large piece of paper and stick up onto a wall with free space in front of it. Prepare a paper ‘carrot’ (triangles cut from orange paper) for each player – it’s handy to label each carrot with the player’s name. Each carrot will also need a small square of tape or blob of blu-tac.
To play, blindfold players one at a time, spinning each around in a circle a few times before letting them try to stick their carrot as close as possible to where the snowman’s nose should be!
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a nose on a snowman – they’re just easy to draw! Alternatively, you could add a nose or tail to a reindeer or a star to the top of a tree.
3. Candy Cane Hunt
This is a simple game that can be played indoors or out.
While your guests are busy with another game, hide candy canes (the mini ones are perfect for this idea) and golden chocolate coins around your party space. Invite your guest to find a candy cane and coin each (or as many as they like – your choice!)
4. Pass the Parcel
This game takes a little preparation but it’s such a huge hit with younger children that I had to include it on our list. Before the party, purchase a small, inexpensive prize and then wrap it in lots of layers of paper – recycled wrapping paper is perfect. You’ll want at least one layer per child.
To play, have the children sit in a circle, passing the wrapped parcel around the circle while you play some fun Christmas music. When the music stops, the child holding the parcel removes the outer layer of paper. Start the music again and continue until one child unwraps the final layer of paper to reveal their prize.
Variation: For young children, you might like to put a small lolly/sweet or balloon in each layer of wrap so that each of the children receive a prize.
RELATED: For more like this, check out our list of Classic Kids Party Games – great for any occasion!
Active Christmas Party Games
5. Don’t Ring the Bell Obstacle Course
Our super fun Don’t Ring the Bell obstacle course (click through for set up instructions) is a really fun game for your toddler, preschool and kindergarten aged Christmas party guests.
6. Santa Says
Played just like Simon Says, except this time Santa is in charge!
One person is chosen to be ‘Santa.’ Santa tells the other players what they must do, however the players must only obey the commands that begin with the words “Santa says.” For example, if Santa says, “Santa says prance like a reindeer,” then players must quickly prance around like reindeer, but if Santa simply says, “Prance like a reindeer” (without the ‘Santa says’ instruction), then players must not do the action. In this instance, those who do perform the action are out of the game.
Try choosing holiday inspired actions, such as
- Blink like Christmas light
- Eat Christmas cookies
- Make a snow angel
- Pose like a Christmas tree
- Swirl your hands like snowflakes
- Fly like an angel
- Say Ho Ho Ho
- Pretend to ride a reindeer
- Say Merry Christmas
7. Human Tic Tac Toe
This one’s for the older children and adults!
Draw a large Tic Tac Toe board on the pavement with chalk, or use masking tape on the floor if playing inside. Divide players into two teams. Each team will need three candy canes, with each team’s candy canes a different colour – e.g red for one team, green for the other.
Line teams up a short distance away from the Tic Tac Toe board. Give each of the first three players a candy cane in their team’s colour. On ‘Go’ the first two players race to the board and choose a square in the grid to place their candy cane into, they then race back to their team and tag the next player who runs to the board and drops their candy cane into a square on the board. This continues with the third player. Subsequent players run to the board and move one candy cane in their team’s colour before returning to tag the next team member. As with regular Tic Tac Toe, the aim is to claim three squares in a row – horizontally, vertically or diagonally. The first team to do so wins the round.
RELATED: For more games for tweens and teens, check out collection of Classic Party Games for Teens.
You’ll need a broomstick, a long scarf or a length of tinsel for a limbo pole and some Christmas tunes for a classic game of Christmas Limbo!
Hold the pole horizontal to the floor (you’ll need a person holding either end) at about chest height. Players line up and take turns to dance under the limbo pole without knocking or touching it – if they touch it, they’re out. Players must lean backwards, not forwards, as they pass under the pole. Once all the players are through, the pole is dropped about an inch and the players again must pass under the pole without touching it. The last player dancing is the winner.
9. Snowball Relay Race
You will need a rolled up pair of white socks as a snowball and a wooden spoon for each team. Divide players into two teams (4+ players per team is best) and arrange each team into two lines, facing each other across a short running distance.
On ‘go’ the first member of each team must run (or fast walk) across the space whilst balancing the ‘snowball’ on the wooden spoon and pass it to the next member of the team. This continues until all team members have raced. If the socks fall off the spoon, the player must return to where they started and try again. First team to have all member race while successfully balancing their snowball on the spoon wins.
10. Christmas Cookie Face
Each player places a small Christmas cookie onto their forehead and using only their facial expressions must try and move the cookie into their mouth – no hands allowed. First to eat their cookie wins!
11. Snowball Toss
Divide guests into pairs. Each pair will need a large plastic cup and 10-12 marshmallows. Team members stand opposite each other, approximately 1 metre/3 feet apart. With one team member holding the cup and one the marshmallows, teams must compete to see how many marshmallows they can throw and catch with the cup in one minute.
RELATED: For more fun, active games for kids, check out our collection of Kids Tag Games.
Christmas Party Games for the Whole Family
12. Christmas Charades
Originating in the 18th century, charades has stayed popular for a reason! It’s packed with fun and laughs and easy to play with groups of all sizes and ages. You can find out more about charades through following these links – how to play charades and over 250+ charades ideas, but most importantly for this time of year, be sure to grab a copy of our Christmas Charades cards or Christmas Movie Charades cards.
13. Christmas Who Am I?
This is the funniest question and answer game every! Grab a copy of the Who Am I? Christmas Game Cards and instructions for play by following the link.
Super simple to play using our Christmas Charades card, this time players draw instead of acting out the terms they choose.
To play, split the family into two teams, each with a large drawing pad and marker. Each team nominates an artist for the first round. Set a timer for one or two minutes. Place a bowl with the charades cards between the two teams. At ‘go’ the artist for each team grabs a card (without revealing it to any other team member) from the bowl and draws the item written on the card. Their team members can guess what the item is as the artist draws. Once the item is guessed correctly, the artist takes another card from the bowl and repeats the process. When the time limit is up, each team counts how many words they got right. The team who draw the most correct words within the time limit wins.
RELATED: See our collection of nine printable Christmas games here.
15. The Chocolate Game
Players sit in a circle around the table, taking turns to roll two dice and then passing them around the circle in a clockwise direction. If a player rolls a double number, they put on a set of two or three dress ups (e.g. a hat and scarf or coat and boots) and then use a knife and fork to cut individual squares from a family sized block of chocolate and eat them. They keep cutting and eating until the next player rolls a double.
The key is to keep the dice moving as fast as possible so that the person dressing up and eating changes regularly.
16. Would You Rather? Christmas Edition
A fun conversation game, our free printable Christmas Would You Rather? game includes 44 festive question cards to get your family and friends talking and debating.
17. Holiday Spoons with Candy Canes
You’ll need a deck of cards and 3+ people seated at a table around a line of candy canes, with one less candy cane than the number of players. Everyone takes turns taking cards from the deck with the goal to be the first to get four of a kind (ex. four Kings or four Aces). Once a person has a set of four they take a candy cane as stealthily as possible from the line on the table. Then everyone else races to grab one of the remaining candy canes. The person who doesn’t get a candy cane is eliminated. Re-shuffle the cards and repeat this until just one winner remains.
18. Christmas Tree Dress up
Divide the family into two teams. Each team has one minute to transform a nominated team member into a winning Christmas tree using wrapping paper, tape, tinsel, ribbon, decorations and whatever else they can find. The most impressive ‘tree’ wins.
19. Name That Tune
Before your Christmas party begins, line up a playlist of your favourite Christmas tunes, including classics and some newer, popular tunes. Ten to fifteen songs is a good number. Divide players into groups of two or three and give each a notepad and pen. Play a tiny snippet of each song and have the groups guess the name of the song, writing the answer on their notepad. You can even award spot prizes for particularly tricky tunes!
Sardines is a little like a reverse hide and seek and though it’s not strictly Christmassy, it’s lots of fun for groups!
To play, one person is chosen to go and hide while the other players close their eyes and count to 20. When a person finds the hider, they join them in the hiding spot. Last person to find the ‘sardines’ is the loser of the round.
Hot tip: Playing in the dark makes this one extra fun for bigger kids.
21. Heads or Tails
Everyone stands up and put their hands on either their head or their backside. Flip a coin. If it lands on heads, everyone with their hands on their head is out. If it lands on tails, everyone with their hands on their backside is out. The remaining players again choose heads or tails. Play continues until one winner is left.